Impact of Private Secondary Schooling on Cognitive Skills: Evidence from India
World Bank; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
May 16, 2011
In this paper we measure the effect of attending private secondary school on educational achievement measured by standardized test scores in two India states: Orissa and Rajasthan. In the absence of access to good instrument variable, we use recently developed estimation method based on the idea that the amount of selection on the observed explanatory variables provides a guide to the amount of selection on the unobservables (Altonji, Elbers, and Todd, 2005). We also borrow techniques from Program Evaluation literature to estimate the private school effect and its sensitivity to unobservables. We find that in Rajasthan, the students in private school scored around 9 percent more than the public school students, and the positive effect stand even in case of significant selection based of unobservables. However, in Orissa the students in private school only score 3 percent more than public school students. Moreover, a small selection on unobservable has the potential to wipe out this positive effect.
Keywords: Public and private school, achievement, secondary school, India
JEL Classification: C21, I21working papers series
Date posted: May 18, 2011
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